The Regional Renaissance Initiative (RRI)
Just one more tax anyone?
The main purposes of the Regional Renaissance Initiative was to fund construction of two new sports stadiums (football and baseball) to replace Three Rivers Stadium, which has served both football and baseball for 30 years. The estimated combined cost: about 700 million. The estimate was provided by advocates, so you know it will be a very low guess. A secondary part of the plan called for expansion/enhancement of the city convention center.
Despite clear negative feedback by voters, the plan went ahead anyway. No, not as the Regional Renaissance Initiative. Instead they beefed the proposal up with little bonuses for critical politicians (riders), and they pushed it through as "plan B" without a public vote. This way, no one could say the public was against it, since the public was not asked.
The new Plan B finances the whole thing, with city bonds. So, later on they can add the tax to dig us out of the hole they are building now with bonds, and there will be no way we can stop it. At that point it will be ambiguous to the average citizen why we owe so much money then, rather than being obvious that the stadiums were central.
The result: Currently the two new stadiums are 70% done, and Three Rivers Stadium will be blown up at 8AM Feb 11, 2001. I haven't seen or heard anything with respect to the convention center. So much for what the people want.
Well, I love football, and the new baseball stadium looks fantastic, so I will do my best to use them and help support them from now on. What else can I do?
Nov 4, 1997
The Regional Renaissance Initiative was defeated in the current election.
Original obsolete text
In November Pittsburgh area residents will vote on the Regional Renaissance Initiative (RADII). The ballot question allows residents to voice their opinion about adding a new tax to support development in Southwestern Pennsylvania.
The Regional Renaissance Initiative claims that if the Pittsburgh area supports a 1/2% sales tax, complimenting the current 1% RAD sales tax for the same purpose, then the city will be revitalized with new business, mainly sports stadiums and jobs, attracting young to our city.
One fellow told me he had several concerns about the tax, but nothing to convince him to vote no. On the other hand, I require substantial evidence to make me to give up more money to the government. Why?
The Anti-Tax "vote no" web page is very compelling. Taxes are not always the solution, vote no.